Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador S. Panelo on Monday, April 2, said Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV’s motion to change venue is an attempt to delay the proceedings on the civil case filed against him by former Davao Vice Mayor Paolo Z. Duterte and his brother-in-law Manases R. Carpio.
Mr. Trillanes, who is facing a damage suit for his alleged libelous remarks against Messrs. Duterte and Carpio, had asked the Supreme Court to change the location of the civil case for purported unfair treatment and threat to his life from President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
The civil case is currently pending before the Davao City Regional Trial Court Branch 15. Incidentally, Mr. Trillanes was also declared persona non grata in the city in February.
“The claim of unfair treatment of Senator Trillanes is an empty rhetoric; he has not supported his claim of unfairness with credible proof. It also besmirches the authority and the independence of the court where the case is pending,” Mr. Panelo said in a statement.
“The supposed threat to his life by the President is but a phantom he has created. No attempt against his life has been reported. Neither is there a threat made by the President,” Mr. Panelo added.
Mr. Panelo also said that the same “threat” to the life of Mr. Trillanes will be present elsewhere even if the venue is changed.
“Clearly, the motion to change venue filed before the Supreme Court is intended to delay the proceedings of his case and to milk the attending publicity as well,” Mr. Panelo ended. — Minde Nyl R. Dela Cruz